British police, investigating allegations of historic child sex abuse, say more than 14-hundred people have been named as suspects.
They include dozens of politicians and TV stars.
‘Operation Hydrant’ has been set up to allow detectives to establish an over-arching investigation into historical crimes by those in powerful positions.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, Head of Child Protection at National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is leading ‘Operation Hydrant’:
“It means that victims more so that ever before are having the confidence to come forward and report abuse. And they can be reassured that when they come forward and report their abuse that we are now responding differently in the years gone by.”
The issue of child abuse came to widespread prominence in 2012 when the late television presenter Jimmy Savile was shown to have abused hundreds of victims for decades.
Hundreds of institutions have been identified by victims of non-recent abuse as places where their abuse took place. These include schools, children’s homes, religious institutions, medical establishments, prisons and sports venues.
“The 1400 suspects that have been talked about today are literally the tip of the iceberg. We are working with hundreds of survivors who have yet to come forward, we are working with them helping them to come forward,” said abuse victim and counsellor Graham Wilmer.
Over the last three years the number of incidents reported to police has risen by 71 per cent,
Since Savile other household names have been convicted, including entertainer and broadcaster Rolf Harris, rock star Gary Glitter and publicist Max Clifford.
The ‘Operation Hydrant’ team is working to create a database which will try to ensure that the failures of the past – as identified in the Jimmy Savile case, such as reports of abuse having been buried in the system – will not be repeated.